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XFL announces Seattle as one of eight host cities for league relaunch in 2023

Jul 25, 2022, 2:34 PM

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Seattle Dragons helmet sits on the sidelines during a XFL game against the Houston Roughnecks at TDECU Stadium on March 07, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The XFL announced Sunday that one of the eight teams in its rebooted spring football league will be located in Seattle.

Seattle, alongside Houston, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Texas, will all once again have teams after also being part of the most recent version of the XFL, which filed for bankruptcy amid the COVID-19 pandemic midway through its 2020 season.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dany Garcia, both part of the league’s ownership group, announced its eight host cities and coaches in a series of announcements over the weekend.

XFL players leave mark as grateful, determined and defiantly resilient

While Seattle is returning, it’s not known if the “Dragons” mascot or its color scheme will return as the XFL makes its third attempt to launch a sustaining professional football league.

The XFL was officially created on February 2, 2000 by former WWE CEO Vince McMahon and then-chairman of NBC Sports Dick Ebersol. The XFL was launched to be a more fun alternative to the NFL, which McMahon christened as the “no fun league.”

The ratings were initially high, but as the season went along, interest from fans and media quickly died.

McMahon maintained control of the XFL brand after the league ceased operations, and on January 25, 2018, he announced the return of the XFL with a target relaunch date of early 2020, but the league was quickly bankrupted during the pandemic.

Adding cities like Orlando, St. Louis, and Arlington — locations that don’t have NFL teams — is meant to drive ticket sales and interest in those markets.

The Seattle team will be coached by Jim Haslett, who has previously been head coach of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints (2000-05) and interim head coach of the St. Louis Rams (2008). Among other members announced as part of Haslett’s staff are offensive coordinator June Jones and defensive coordinator Ron Zook.

“When people say that Seattle is a bunch of fair-weather fans, here’s why,” Gee said on the Gee and Ursula Show. “We Seattle folks are not going to see a bad product. Do you know what we have in this town? We have hiking. We have camping. We got so many things happening in Seattle and options. This is Seattle baby. And in Seattle, we got stuff to do. There’s competition.

All that said, is the XFL going to work here? It all comes down to whether they can win. If you win, we will come.”

The Seattle Dragons went 1-4, including 1-1 at home, during their lone incomplete season.

“Nobody beats the NFL,” said Spike O’Neill, guest host on the Gee and Ursula Show. “I don’t know if anybody can even compete in a town when you always have the NFL waiting in the door.”

The new-look league is set to hit the field in 2023.

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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